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Road Trips after Hysterectomy

From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List

Road Trips after HysterectomyHow soon can I travel after my hysterectomy? How long is too long in a car?

Your doctor is really the only one who can advise you on how long to wait after your hysterectomy before traveling. Many HysterSisters say they couldn't handle even short car rides for the first few days, and long car rides were out of the question for several weeks. Some women don't have a choice because their hospital is hours away from home, but if you have a choice, you should avoid car rides for those first few weeks.

One HysterSister compared early post-op car rides to riding a mechanical bull. Keeping yourself upright through the stopping, going, and turning in a car uses more abdominal strength than you may realize. Also, small bumps in the road that were negligible before your hysterectomy may be intolerable for a while afterward.

Furthermore, keep in mind that the farther you travel, the farther you will be away from your doctor. Should post-op complications arise, you would have to see a doctor who is completely unfamiliar with your medical history. Also, your insurance may not cover damages to your surgery if you did not get doctor clearance to travel. If you have to travel, make sure you contact your insurance company first so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.

When you are ready to travel, here are some tips to make the car ride more comfortable:
  • Talk to your doctor about medication to help with pain and/or nausea for the trip.
  • Get a driver—a GOOD driver. If your driver is usually a little reckless, make a special request that he be extra considerate of your healing process.
  • Wear compression stockings to help with circulation.
  • Bring a pillow. You will tire easily and will need a good place to rest your head.
  • Stop every thirty minutes to stretch and move your legs.
  • Drink plenty of water and/or other non-caffeinated, non-carbonated beverages. This will keep you hydrated and help prompt those frequent stops!
  • Don't go any farther than you have to. Break long driving trips into shorter sections. You might actually get to see sights you would have passed otherwise!
  • Bring a barf bag/bucket. Hopefully it won't come to that, but it's always good to be prepared.

As you travel, be on the alert for any signs of blood clots. If you experience any pain in the leg or thigh, if there is swelling or heat at the site of the pain, fever, shortness of breath, or any upper back pain, seek medical attention immediately. All symptoms do not have to be present.

To help prevent clots, keep your legs mobile. Keep your feet as far in front of you as possible rather than constantly bent at the knee. Picture a garden hose with a kink in it. The water cannot flow freely through the hose if it is kinked. It's much the same with your legs. If the leg is bent at the knee, the blood cannot flow freely.

Knowing the risks and necessary precautions before starting your trip may help prevent medical complications and make your trip more comfortable and pleasant.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

07-25-2013 - 11:17 AM


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